Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chicken Gnocchi Soup - Comfort food for the Soul

Shorter Days, Looooooonger nights, fresh chill in the air. YUP - it's Comfort Food Season.  I dont know about you, but for me, this is one of the hardest times of the year to keep my motivation and energy up.  Alarm goes off - eyes peak open...and what do you see - NOTHING.  It's pitch black.  (and if you're on the West Coast...your listening to the sound of raindrops falling)... So easy to just hit snooze, cuddle in closer and try again in an hour...or two.  This fall, I'm working my butt off (literally) trying to kick it up a notch in the activity AND energy department. BUUUUUT...  that also means, weeknight dinners typically get .. umm... a little... rushed.  There just isn't enough hours in the day to fit my growing daily to-do list in.  If you're like me, and want a quick and easy - comforting - warm ya from the inside - kind of meal, perfect for coming in from a rainy cold run... or long dreary commute -  This is the soup for you!  Chicken Gnocchi Soup

It's thick, it's creamy, packs a flavourful punch - and is ready in less than 40mins.  No - seriously! - Would I lie to you??  It's even quicker if you "cheat" and on your way home stop in a pick up a roasted chicken at your local grocery store! (think 25 - 30 mins tops!)  It's also filling, so just a light salad (or breadstick or 3) goes along perfectly! 

This past weekend was our annual trek up to Whistler's Cornucopia,  a festival of food... wine... more wine..and more food.  This time of year it's always beautiful up there...  Still brightly coloured leafs on the trees, yet delicate huge snowflakes bring on some of the year's first snow accumulation.  Lots of walking around, lots of tasting yummy stuff... and of course the highlight,  the Crush Gala, where you get to sip, savour and sample your way through wineries from all over.

(and even if you don't attend the Crush Gala - there's lots of fun stuff to try)....  Mexican Bulldog at Whistler's famous Longhorn Saloon... this matches up perfectly with one of the biggest platters of nachos I've ever seen served..... (just sayin')..and YES I shared....  :)

SO, needless to say, after a long weekend, what I definitely needed was a good - homemade - comfort food craver buster. Something that was easy enough to make before the well needed Zumba class (still feeling the nachos and weekend shenanigans) but filling enough to satisfy......  hmmmm this would be perfect after a long day out on the sleds this winter!  :)
Chicken Gnocchi Soup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup onion - diced
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 container of chicken broth (about 2-3 cups)
  • 1 cup carrots, finely shredded
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and diced (I used a store bought roasted chicken)
  • 1 package gnocchi, cooked.  (I used the mini ones, if using full size, cut in each in half)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
- In a large saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil and butter until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the flour and make a roux.  Let the butter/flour mixture cook for an additional minute before adding the half and half.  Stirring frequently.
- Cook the Gnocchi according to package directions
- Into the Soup, mix in the carrots and chicken.  Stir well.
- When mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth, continuing to mix well.
- Once the soup thickens up again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, parsley and salt.  Summer until the soup is heated through.
- Before serving, season to taste by added additional salt if needed.


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